Monday, January 28, 2013

Hot Chocolate with Ginger

It's a beautiful snowy day outside my window, ergo the perfect day for a mug of hot chocolate. Ginger adds an extra dose of warm spice to this version.  I made the following recipe with soy milk, but any non-dairy milk will work, according to your preference. If coffee is more your hot beverage of choice, check out my post for Tahitian Coffee.

  • 1/3 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups plain non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate sundae syrup (such as Santa Cruz)
1. Combine the ginger, sugar, and water in a saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and turns golden, stirring frequently.

2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then add the milk and chocolate syrup. Return to the burner and heat over medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk.

3. Continue to cook until bubbles form around the edges, but do not boil - a candy thermometer should read about 180 degrees.  This step took quite a bit longer than I anticipated, since you are using low heat; plan on about 30 minutes.  Strain through a sieve over a bowl and discard the solids.

Serve plain, or add vegan marshmallows (I especially like the mini ones from Sweet & Sara). A dusting of cocoa powder makes a nice garnish.

This cocoa is great for a snack when you come in from the cold, but I also liked it at brunch with open-faced vegan ham-and-asparagus sandwiches on baguette.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (3/4 cup), Calories 190

Tasting Notes:
A great cup of cocoa; the ginger infused every sip, without being overpowering. Under the ginger, this is smooth and chocolatey and will warm you right up.  Definitely delicious with marshmallows, but I actually preferred it without, to savor the cocoa to the max. 


Vegan extra:
Although cocoa is a nice indulgence, primarily I'm a coffee drinker. Coffee, of course, is vegan, but I prefer to support companies that take into account their environmental impact (including on the habitat of animals), so I always look for rainforest alliance certified brands. My favorite these days is the Espresso Sierra from Allegro, which is not only organic and fair trade, but also shade grown (helping to prevent deforestation and soil erosion).

Another great brand to check out is Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Try their "Save the Wolves" roast, another shade-grown organic option, whose name says it all.

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